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Todd Haynes presents a revisionist take on the paranoia thriller with this story of a Southern California housewife who suddenly falls victim to an inexplicable, apparently incurable illness. Carol White (Julianne Moore) lives with her husband and son in suburban comfort until she collapses one day, for no apparent reason. Her condition worsens in the weeks that follow, as she suffers from coughing fits, exhaustion, and spontaneous nose bleeds, triggered by sources as disparate as car exhaust, cologne, and the sun. Failing to find any medical explanation for her maladies, her doctor refers her… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Moore, in a nearly unplayable role, is amazingly vivid and touching; this is a heartbreaking portrait of a woman in full, panicked retreat from life."
‑ Terrence Rafferty, New Yorker
"In a summer of heavyweight action movies and flyweight romantic comedies, I don't think you'll find a more provocative little number than Safe, which creeps under your skin like a rash."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Moore, evidently under Haynes' instruction, gives a performance composed of near-total inertia. Her pale lifelessness -- meant to be frightening, I suppose -- is merely irritating."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Safe is numbingly fascinating, partly due to its carefully composed, antiseptic visual style and its throbbingly threatening soundtrack."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Like Carol, this gifted filmmaker seems to be trapped inside a shell -- devoting his considerable intelligence mainly to justifying his own sense of paralysis."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"You'd have to be cranky or blind to deny Haynes' artistry and vision. There's a dark power, a tremor that runs through the movie like the rumble of a secret dread."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The audaciousness that marked Todd Haynes' earlier work has been supplanted by self-important preachiness."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"With anti-star boldness, Moore doesn't so much embody the role as disembody it, dissolving before our eyes."
‑ , Total Film
"Todd Haynes has always tended towards the clinical, an approach which in this dark and ambiguous allegory proves ever so coolly appropriate."
‑ , Film4
"Though the film had a miniscule budget, it looks outstanding with its dull, muted colors and godawful lite-rock soundtrack."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"This creepy art movie will stay with you."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The ironic handling of decor and characterisation builds an eerie portrait of the blissed-out West Coast bourgeoisie at their most brainwashed."
‑ , Time Out
"Frequently fascinating, it never builds into anything profound."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"Beautifully constructed, chilling internal nightmare where every scene plays out like a little mini movie in and of itself. Brilliant."
‑ Rob Fraser, Empire Magazine
"Richer in subtext than text, this poignant, much misunderstood deconstructive film, about environmental diseseas, New Age therapy and TV movie of the week, deserves a second look due to meanings and Julianne Moore's terrific performance in a tough role"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Safe on Rotten Tomatoes

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